New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Indian skipper Virat Kohli's absence in three test matches against Australia will leave a big hole in the Indian batting order, former Australian cricketer Ian Chappell has said, adding that the series might hinge on who makes the better selection. 

Kohli has been granted paternity leave by the BCCI, meaning he will return to India after playing the first test of the Border Gavaskar Trophy in Adelaide to be at the birth of his first child. Ajinkya Rahane will lead the Indian side in Kohli's absence in the remaining three tests.

"India also faces a selection dilemma when skipper Virat Kohli departs for home for the birth of his first child following the opening Test. This also creates both a big hole in the Indian batting order and an opportunity for one their talented young player to make a name for himself," Chappell said in a blog for ESPNCricinfo

"What was already shaping up as an exciting tussle now has the added stimulus of crucial selection decisions. The result could well come down to who is the bravest set of selectors," he added. 

Kohli and his wife Anushka Sharma are expecting their first child in January 2021. The skipper however, will be available for the T20 and One Day International series against Australia. 

Earlier, former Australian skipper Steve Waugh had said he was both disappointed and surprised that Kohli would miss a portion of the most important series of his whole career to be at the birth of his first child.  

Test Squad: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bymrah, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj

Posted By: Lakshay Raja